I Want Coffee

Slice of Life Day 11

I want a cup a coffee.  Correction I need a cup of coffee.  It’s 3:00 and I have hit my wall.  I can’t wait to leave and head straight to Starbucks! I used to wait until I got off the highway and almost home before I stopped, but the endlessly long lines caused me to keep on driving more times than stopping and nothing is worse than anticipating coffee and then being totally let down! A cup of coffee made at home is just not the same when I am wanting Starbucks. I now go a different way home so that within 8 minutes of leaving work I can have my long awaited hot steaming latte!  There have ever only been 3 cars tops waiting when I pull up.  I always get a slight rush of excitement when I pull up and there is no one in the line.  It is like I have hit the jackpot! I can get to that coffee so much faster and it almost makes it taste so much sweeter!  There is something about taking in the wafting aroma of my latte, feeling the warmth in my hands, and taking that first sip!  The velvety creaminess, the notes of vanilla or caramel, the bitter espresso blending together perfectly.  There is nothing better come the end of a long work day than the perfectly made latte to recharge me for the evening rush.  What makes it even better is that I can enjoy it for the entire drive home and not rush the joy that it brings me.  

Unexpected Moment

Slice of Life Day 10

Today we unexpectadely had to leave our classroom for a short time. I welcomed the exit. We had our windows open all day allowing the unusually warm breeze to flow into our class.  Our blinds were pulled all the way up tempting us to go out and enjoy the day.  So, with our short stories in hand, we ventured outside.  My kids were really clueless as to why we had to leave and looked at it as some prize they had just won! We pushed open the double doors and crossed into the freedom of fresh air and sunshine.  You could hear us all take a deep breath in through our masks as we all stepped outside.  The fresh air, the sunshine, the warmth! Oh, how I have missed you all!  We walked around the front of the building allowing our hair and arms to be tossed in the wind.  The frigid cold biting air has so quickly been transformed into a warm refreshing breeze.  We made our way to the back blacktop where we made a large socially distanced circle.  The kids started criss cross applesauce all facing me eager to hear our remaining short stories.  As I read, I felt like I was back in high school theatrically reciting a monologue. As my words carried on the breeze the kids unwound and sprawled out on the blacktop lifting their faces to be warmed by the sun.  Sweatshirts became pillows and limbs became outstretched.  Story after story the kids lay entranced by the words and the weather.

“Can we do this everyday?”

“This was the best class ever!”

I love how the unexpected moments can lead to the highlight, and possible new addition, to our day!

Zoom Multi-Tasking

Slice of Life Day 9

An upside to the pandemic is no longer having to stay at school late to attend board meetings or choose which meeting to attend because I cannot be in both places at once, or find childcare to attend these late night meetings because I can do it all now with Zoom. Now, don’t get me wrong, as a teacher, I am tired of virtual teaching and the abundance of screen time, but I welcome these Zoom meetings! I now have the ability to be present at home, at school, and in my community all thanks to Zoom. These past few months I have watched an abundance of board meetings for both the school district I teach in and the school district my son attends. I would never have been able to do this if I had to attend in person. Instead, my schedules have been able to remain, for the most part, the same because I can listen to the meeting on my phone, in my comfy clothes, while making dinner, feeding my children, and getting them ready for bath time. I can pause the live streams to help with teeth brushing and book reading. I can sit at the table, with my kids off camera, coloring with them or playing a game all while still listening and being an active participant in both. So, while I sit here typing my blog, in bed, in my PJ’s, I can also listen to my son’s board meeting feeling informed and connected without having to have missed out on kissing my kids good night. While, I want the pre-pandemic normalcy to return, there are technology adaptions like live streamed meetings and Zoom meetings that I hope will remain so that this working multi-tasking mom can continue to do it all!

Wear Your Boots

Slice of Life Day 8

With Spring weather approaching the last of the snow is starting to finally melt and with warmer temperatures expected this week I think it is safe to retire the snow gear! I was so excited to unpack both kids’ snow bags, throw the pants, scarves, hats, and abundance of gloves and mittens into the wash to then be folded and put away for next year. No more drying out snow pants and gloves every night. No more having winter wear draped over my tables and chairs. No more packing their snow bags every single night! Good ridance snow, hello Spring!

No sooner did the snow gear hit the washing machine that I was back upstairs cleaning mud off a pair of my son’s shoes. I specifically bought him a new pair of rain boots last week for this very reason. Melting snow means mud puddles and soggy wet muddy grass!

“Luke, please, wear your boots when you go out and not your shoes! I don’t want to keep cleaning your shoes!”

“But, I can’t play soccer in boots.”

Ugh. Probably a valid point.

“Well, come in and put boots on before you go in the backyard or woods to play.”

“Ok. I will.”

An hour or so later…

“I am headed out to play.”

“Ok. Wear your boots.”

“No. We are just going to play in the front.”

2 pairs of shoes were wore by my son today and they were cleaned 3 times today! The boots were never worn thus never needing to be cleaned.

My daughter had her boots cleaned once! Score one for mom and the new rainbow boots!

“Brother, isn’t wearing his boots, so I want to wear my shoes.”

…and then, once for her shoes!

Curse this mud!

So much for being prepared for Spring and buying new boots for everyone!

How much longer ’til the mud is now gone?!

A Needed Laugh

Slice of Life Day 7

Sometimes you just need to have a good laugh! When two friends of mine get together to share stories from home at the start or end of our the day laughter usually ensues. It usually results in laughing until my sides hurt, crying because I am laughing so hard, snorting because it is just so funny, and doubling over because my stomach hurts from the constant laughing. It is the exaggerated hand motions, making fun of the other, being an instigator (You know who you are!), egging each other on, and playing off one another. It is the stories of kid poop, dog poop, clueless husbands, in laws, children, what ifs, and what would you do! I cherish these moments and am so thankful for friends that can provide this much needed escape and relief from the school day!

TGIF

Slice of Life Day 6

I love Friday nights! Ours are usually low key and just allow us to unwind and let out a big sigh of relief that the work and school week are complete. With dinner cleared and the kitchen cleaned up, it was finally time for our family movie night. We chose to go back to one we’ve seen before and always makes us laugh! The house renovations have totally rearranged our family room furniture, so our two couches are now pushed together making for one big family landing pad! I was in the middle, with both kids on either side of me. Both kids instantly pulled on my arm to nestle into my nook with their heads on my chest. We all settled in and melted into the couch tired from a long week. One extra large blanket to cover all of us made us warm and cozy.

“Dad, are you coming?! The movie’s starting!”

The fourth jumped into place and nestled into the corner spot. Now we were all set!

As the movie played, my eyes became heavy and finally I stopped fighting to keep them open and just gave in. I half listened to the movie, as my kids’ giggled, squirmed, and laughed along. Nothing beats being cozied up with my family with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and a weekend ahead of us. TGIF!

Renovation Progress

Slice of Life Day 5

We started a renovation of our house yesterday and it so exciting to see the progress and things getting done.  It started with the big box truck yesterday pulling up and unloading all of the lumber to frame our basement.  I would forget they were even here until I was jolted by the slamming and falling of wood on the basement floor.  Inconvenience is a small price to pay for this long awaited renovation.  Taped paper on the floor and plastic covering the carpet to make way for work boots, dust, and construction materials.  Today a panel of the wall cut out, molding removed, and a partial hole in the wall!  I am giddy with the possibilities of what the room will look like when the hole lets light in from the other side.  The basement already framed all around, makeshift workbench remains, tools, and sawdust lay scattered.  I can’t wait to see the progress that is made today! 

A Day Off

Slice of Life Day 4

Throughout this pandemic there have been very few times that I have been home by myself.  I honestly could probably count the times on one hand.  There is something about sending the kids off to school and the hubby off to work and then there’s silence.  No one needing something, no being responsible for little people, no chores or to-do’s that need immediate attention.  It is that chance to sit down with my coffee and watch the morning news show by myself with no judgment of just sitting and enjoying the slow start to my day.

Today I have a day off!

Now, the hubby is still working from home and I will hear his constant alerts of meetings and his bellowing voice from the office, but the kids are off to school!  I still get gitty just knowing I have some sense of solitude! It made getting up a little easier.  I climbed back into bed waiting for the kids to get up.  Just nestled back under the covers with no sense of urgency.  No rush to pack lunches, or backpacks.  I can just wait until the house wakes itself.  It is this silence and peace that I most enjoy! My pandemic days at home look different than a year ago, but I will take this day and so appreciate all it has to offer!

That Kind of Morning

Slice of Life Day 3

I am the first to wake up in our house.  I love getting up knowing everyone else is sleeping and everything is quiet.  I usually have 30 minutes by the time I finish getting ready to when I need to get the kids up.  Today I didn’t even make it downstairs before the little one started yelling for me! Maybe she needs to go to the bathroom or just needs to be covered up.  I walk in and she’s standing on her head with her butt in the air. Never a good sign.  

“I wanna wake up.”

“No baby, it’s not wake up time. Let me cover you up.”

“No! I. Wanna. Wake. Up!”

Still standing on her head with her butt in the air. Don’t engage.  

“Ok. Let’s cover you up and get all cozy.  I love you. See you when you wake up.”

I quickly run for the door. Momentary silence… she’s thinking how to play this. Screeeeaaaammm! Yup, not this morning! I gently close the door as to not wake the big kid and head for the stairs.  As if her banshee cries won’t wake him.

Trying to go through my morning routine listening to the far off cries are nothing short of irritating! I can already feel the headache setting in. Just as I drown out the noise, I hear THAT sound. The belch followed by a wretching, churning noise! As I left the screaming child upstairs, I stepped over the dog laying at the top of the stairs. If the belch is any indication of what is to follow I envision a waterfall of bile and whatever else she is trying to get up cascading down my carpeted stairs.

“No, No, No!” I scream and run!

There she is standing at the top of stairs, head hanging in shame looking at what just came up!

Ugh! Another sock that used to belong to my son and something else that as my husband put it, something out of a scene from Alien vs. Predator! I don’t even want to know what that used to be and which child is to blame for leaving it strewn about the house!

“Get downstairs!”

Ugh! Screaming child, yellow bile coating my top three stairs, and a husband still sleeping! Why does my husband always sleep through these moments?!

“Well, we all might as well wake up now!” I yell to anyone and everyone who may hear me!

Friends Reunited

Slice of Life Day 2

Two friends separated by winter’s cold and mounds of snow finally reunited!  Squeals of glee with anticipation of what to do first! Scooters? Running circles? Looking at rocks? Coloring with chalk?

“Chalk! Chalk! Chalk!” chanted the girls.

Winter coats, boots, and mittens will not stop them.  First the end of the neighbor’s driveway. 

“That’s too far.  Come draw in our driveway.” 

They both spring up and awkwardly clunk toward the house in their boots bucket of chalk in tow.  Sprawled on a blanket atop a still frozen driveway free from snow they color.  Talking about nothing and everything, sharing the silence, and just enjoying being together again!  I pull out the pop up chair that has been collecting dust and pushed further to the back with ever needed snow shovels, blowers, and sleds.  I make my way back to the girls, pop open my chair, and nestle in.  Ah, I look forward to the many spring and summer days I will spend sitting in the driveway watching the kids play just enjoying the day. Oh how I have missed this!